Michael Marzolla

In 2011 I retired after a thirty year career with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Since that time I have done two short term work assignments in Jordan and Morocco, both focused on environmental education. Since then, Rose and I have been catching up on our travels. In 2017 we visited our dear friend Juan Aulestia and his wife Cathy Walsh in Quito and spent time in the Galapagos.


In late 2018 we traveled to Chile where we spent time in Patagonia, Santiago and then on to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). There we attended a conference on the spread of Pacific cultures. I’ve been interested in Pacific migration since reading Thor Heyerdahl’s KonTiki as a kid. And guess what? I met Thor Heyerdahl at the conference! Okay, it was his son. He was at the conference with his son Thor, and his grandson, also Thor.


In the meantime, pre-COVID-19, I was organizing and leading educational and artist trips to Santa Cruz Island, helping raise funds and awareness for the UC research station on the island. 


Retirement has allowed me to restart my career as a contemporary artist. I now have an in-home studio here in Santa Barbara and I’m very active in the local artistic community, showing my work in local galleries and now more and more on-line. I’m co-chairing our local Abstract Art Collective, where we have been having success in promoting abstract art in a community that has been dominated by plein air artists.


My artwork has been profoundly influenced by my international experience and my interest in the human community and our interaction with the world around us. (Painting titled 'Intro the Anthropocene’ shown right.)  Should you be interested in seeing a selection of my work, please visit my website. I’m also active on Facebook and Instagram. Now I’m busy helping our artist community adapt to the current challenges brought to us by the pandemic. [8-20]


Previously, in 2008 Michael reported:


It is hard for me to believe that I have completed twenty-five years with the University of California and that I started my graduate studies at CIE back in 1978, thirty years ago. I continue to lead the 4-H Youth Development program in Santa Barbara County and four years ago I assumed the leadership of our Counties Master Gardener program.



I have also participated in various international assignments in Bolivia and more recently in Serbia.  In 2006 I was able to visit to Cuba to study their sustainable agriculture efforts. Currently, as the Co-Chair of the North American Association for Environmental Education's International Commission, I am organizing a learning and exchange visit to Cuba with a focus on environmental education.  Cuba is a wondrous and stimulating country.   I have attached a more recent photo of yours truly at the La Foridita Bar in Havana next to a stature of Pappa Hemingway... [1-08]


Email: am.marzolla@me.com


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CIE Graduate